The Rolandos are back, and this time travel to a new location. They still depend on finger (you) to guide them, and control the environment. The Rolandos are now in 2.5D meaning the environments have depth, but the Rolandos are still flat. There's a brand new story, new enemies, new rolandos, and new tools.
Rolando 2 begins when Sir Richard comes back from a journey to a warm reception from the townsfolk, the King, queen, and the Sages. As he’s talking to King Edward the Sages become infected by the Kilgorean Flu. The flu must have came back on the boat, and there is only one cure. The cure is the fabled golden orchid that lies atop the great mount of the Island of Fontanis.
Sir Richard takes off at once with his crew, and the royal family. They have to roll across 5 areas on the Island of Fontanis to reach the Golden Orchid. There are native cannibal Rolandos to contented with, and new friends to meet along the way.
In each level you start with a certain number of Rolandos, and you have to save a given amount to beat the level. Each level includes a time limit as well as crystals to collect. In Rolando 2 there are now many more crystals to collect with most levels having at least 20 scattered around.
The newest feature for Rolando 2 is the 2.5D worlds available to explore. There is now depth to all of the platforms and obstacles in the game, so only the rolandos stay in 2D. Brand new enemies are included that are tribal rolandos rather than the shadow people of the first one.
This time around there are multiple tools at your disposal with fingerbombs, stickybombs, arrows, and cars. Also some Rolandos have special abilities from floating in the air, to sinking in the ocean. The bonus levels are back as well where you tilt the entire world to control the sleeping king.
Another new feature is the incorporation of Ngmoco’s Plus(+) Network. Now there are online high scores for every level, and you can send push challenges for individual levels to anyone in the push network. It's great, when you receive a challenge it pops up like a text, and alerts you with the sound when Rolandos roll into the exit. As soon as you slide to let's roll it boots into the challenge. After beating the challenge you can re-challenge the person.
Included are 6 stages you have to roll across in your quest for the Golden Orchid. The first stage is going from the castle back to the boat which is pretty much an intricate tutorial. Then you set sail to the Island of Fontanis and travel through Majestic shores, Savage Jungle, Mysterious Temple, Cavernous Cacves, and Stormtop Mountain. Each stage has about 10 levels, so there is a lot to do.
The controls are just like the first, so if you never picked that one up, you might want to try the lite version
of it to test the controls. You tilt left and right to roll the Rolandos, and tap to select individual ones. To interact with objects in the environment you swipe or tap, and to view the entire level just drag two fingers across the screen. There isn’t much to it, and it's just so intuitive.
Another thing to note is that in the first any contact with anything, and your Rolando is dead. In Rolando 2 if your rolando runs into an enemy or is blown up by a bomb the rolando is dazed, and only if it happens again while dazed do they die. That's nice for some of the tougher areas, and the challenge is still there with instant death obstacles like spikes or lava.
There is also a music shack that lets you preview all of the songs used in Rolando 2. You click once to preview, and click again to be taken to the mobile itunes store, where the songs are from various artists.
What’s not to like with this title, it is outstanding in every way. The most noticeable difference is the visuals which actually retain the cute polish of the first, but add a whole new perspective. The entire surroundings are 3D with a wonderful moving background image. The Rolandos ironically stick out as 2D circles in a 3D world. Most levels don’t share any resemblance to each other, and all are so intricately designed.
The sounds are amazing, and sets the standard for what other titles should strive for. There are about 10 different full length songs that are varied over all of the levels so they never seem overused. The sound effects are great with each of the different rolandos having a different sound when they’re selected or jumping. Dizzy, the upper class one with a monocle, has the smug british elite uumph, that is directly contrasted by the pirate, Turgut, with gruffness.
The gameplay is amazing, and its by far the best platformer in the App store. This game has console like quality on the go, that you can also sit down and play for hours. Each level requires different techniques and strategy. Most levels have different groups of Rolandos starting in different locations, and require certain types of Rolandos to access difficult areas.
In Rolando 2 there are many new things to deal with. Some levels have big boulders from Indians Jones, other have lava, and some have water. Moving a light beam to unlock paths are back, and so are the yellow objects you need to spin around. My favorite tool has to be the Spikey Death ball; you just get in, and roll over the native rolandos.
The humorous text is back again, and it's witty banter. With more opposite characters included it makes for some hilarious conversation. One example is the floating rolando who says, "Feed me chili. Give me gas" then another responds, "well I'm not sure we want that exactly." Another instance is the spikey commando saying "50 beasties, one royal spikey commando, those are my kind of odds." More and more funny sayings are included that really progress the story.
Replayability wasn’t a problem with the original, and it’s even more true in number two. Like the first, you can just save the required number of Rolandos on each level, and finish the whole game. These levels beg to be played more, and it really is a challenge to get all of the crystals, and beat the level in the allocated time.
Rolando 2 adds even more replayability with the incorporation of the Plus network. The online leaderboards work great, and the push notifications are amazing challenges for each individual level. Also there are plenty of awards to achieve along the way that you can keep track of on plus.
Back for the sequel is the brilliant isave feature which picks up in the exact position you left off. iSave is one of the best features for a mobile platformer. The controls worked flawlessly, and never once did they hinder gameplay. The game progesses smoothly, and is a joy to play.
I scoured this game for something, anything that could possibly be bad, but I came up empty. There is nothing, it provides anything you could possibly want from an elite iPhone game.
*Note: This game is only OS 3.0 compatible, and costs $9.99
Rolando was an amazing game, Rolando 2 is even better. Rolando 2 keeps the fun gameplay, and even adds to it with brand new enemies, rolandos, and tools to use. The visuals are beefed up with 3D worlds, but still maintain the cute charm of the first. The Plus network is now added allowing you to push challenges to your friends, and compete for high scores on every level in the game.
$9.99 may seem a little high with so many recent price drops, but Rolando 2 is worth even more. If you only have one game on your iPhone this should be it. There is no doubt Rolando 2 is the best Platformer in the App Store, but it is also the best game you can get. This is the ultimate Must Have.
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